Friday, February 13, 2015

Cinema Cycle - The Avengers '63 - Volume 7

(Cardio Workout And Reviewing Movies At The Same Time)


DATE: 02/11/2015

TITLE: The Avengers '63 - Volume 7


TIME RIDDEN / FILM LENGTH: 1 hour 39 minutes



SYNOPSIS: (from the VHS cover)

Intercrime: When Cathy assume the identity of an assassin imported by Intercrime, she finds her first target is Steed! Fortunately for THE AVENGERS, there's no honor among thieves, and the villains' internal squabbling helps bring on their ruin

Immortal Clay: Immoral passion breeds peril for the inventor of an 'immortal clay," an unbreakable ceramic. Cathy, researching a book on china, and Steed, seeking proof of the impervious pottery, uncover a lethal lust and a redeeming romance.

CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: There are a couple of things about the British; they are somewhat repressed, they value Shakespearean delivery, they are all about the ‘intrigue’.  Sex is implied but never shown or discussed.

PROS AND CONS: These are two episodes out of five seasons from this television show.  I found these in a Goodwill store about 8 years ago, so expect a lot more of the adventures of Steed and companion in the coming months and years.  

There are a lot of folks that haven’t seen the early seasons of this series which were only shown in Britain.  Most readers will remember the latter years when John Steed was linked with Emma Peel (Diana Rigg), but not many have seen the early seasons when Steed’s partner was Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman, eventually to be of Goldfinger “Pussy Galore” fame).  Cathy was a much more hard nosed, assertive partner for Steed and she had the ice cold ‘sexy-bitch’ role down pat.  

Unlike most modern day television, you really have to watch these episodes carefully to follow them.  They talk very fast and often times the sound and diction isn’t the best.  It appears that many of these episodes were filmed live with minimal editing, hence there is still a bit of a stage play look and feel.  All of the episodes are filmed on sound stages and it is humorous to see the occasional goof like a camera in the background or someone tripping or dropping something in a scene.  The best way to describe the acting is like watching ‘Dragnet’ on fast forward.  Very staccato dialog and mannerisms.

One of the themes that stood out between the two episode were the villains.  They were all loud and over-the-top regarding their acting and personalities.  Subtle villainy is not part of British stage craft.

To read an overview of this project, check out the initial post for this series.  
This film was viewed while exercising on my recumbent cycle.  A summary of my time spent working out on my journey through movie-land can be found on

The summary of the project and a glimpse of what is coming up next can be found on my public LaserDisc spreadsheet.